Barletta Continues to Push Rare Earth Element Opportunities for Pennsylvania

Dec 20, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, President Donald J. Trump issued an executive order to boost production of domestically sourced critical minerals.  This announcement comes after the Department of Interior and the U.S. Geological Survey released a report yesterday which found that in 2016, the U.S. was partially or fully reliant on imports for 23 mineral commodities.  The report states that the U.S. is most reliant on China, where at least 20 critical minerals are exclusively sourced to the nation.

“I am very excited with the president’s executive order to boost our domestic production of critical minerals,” Barletta said in response to the president’s announcement.  “I have been actively working to promote extraction of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) right here at home, and earlier this year, helped secure grant funding for a pilot program to extract REEs from anthracite coal mined in Northeastern PA.  My hope is that the Department of Interior will include REEs as critical minerals so we can stop relying on the Chinese for these vital elements that are in everything from cell phones to the weapons used by our troops.  Domestic production of REEs will strengthen national security and bring good paying jobs and economic growth to Pennsylvania, and I hope the administration will take a seriously look at including them in the scope of this executive order.”

Barletta has been a strong proponent of REE development in Pennsylvania.  On January 17, 2017, Barletta sent a letter to then Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, in support of an application jointly submitted by Penn State University, Texas Mineral Resources Corporation, and Indenture Renewables/K Technologies to receive financial assistance through the Department of Energy’s (DOE) “Production of Salable Rare Earth Element Materials from Coal and Coal By-Products” funding opportunity.  Following the letter, DOE awarded the $1 million grant to the consortium.  In September, Barletta brought Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, to see the important work happening at the REE extraction site in Ebervale, PA.

Read the USGS survey HERE

Read the executive order HERE